Tissue regeneration strategies, such as stem cell research, have undergone notable developments over the past two decades. However, an article in the journal, Artificial Organs, suggests that many challenges must be overcome before regenerative medicine is accepted as a viable science.
Though the past decade has seen significant achievements in certain applications of regenerative medicine, it remains primarily a laboratory science with few successful products to attest to its promise. Despite widespread efforts for commercialization, the field failed to keep pace with the public?s expectations. “This brought about the perception that this was not a viable clinical alternative to organ transplantation,” says Dr. V. Prasad Shastri, author of the study.
Stem cell-based therapy and other tissue regeneration strategies have the potential to revolutionize regenerative medicine and disease treatment. However, the challenges associated with this research, including limited access to stem cells and other materials, in addition to the fact that research is currently funded by the private sector, remain obstacles.
There is currently a lack of a coherent, comprehensive and unified government policy towards cutting edge research involving stem cells. Poor support from the government is further inhibited by geo-political considerations and there is inadequate public information on the research and a near complete absence of public debate.
In order to reverse the perception of regenerative medicine as non-functional, clear goals with tangible benefits must be set. All parties involved in this research must cooperate in order to ensure outcomes that are consistent with promises.
“With the proper framework and participation of all sectors of society and political support, tissue regenerative technologies are poised to change clinical medicine and significantly enhance the quality of life for all,” says Dr. Shastri.